We are officially in the midst of our busiest point of wedding season, which also happens to be the busiest point in booking season for weddings happening the following year. Just as our couples’ gorgeous weddings are coming to pass, we are excitedly welcoming new couples for the years ahead. And during this busy booking season when couples are weighing the benefits of hiring a planner, I thought it would not only be a fun post (and supportive one for wedding planners needing a little mid-season boost!), but also an incredibly helpful one if I listed just 100 things a wedding planner thinks of and about when planning a wedding so that their couples do not have to!
When you think of a wedding planner’s role, tasks and responsibilities, the obvious things come to mind - finding and securing a venue, researching and booking vendors, budgeting, designing, setting up, etc. However, there are quite literally hundreds of things outside of the obvious that we think about, take into consideration and attend to when planning each and every wedding on our couples’ behalf. For today’s blog post, I’ve rounded up just 100 of the things we as planners think of for the benefit of our couples and to prevent our couples from being overwhelmed.
Your wedding planner will know:
All things weather - I basically could have been a meteorologist with the amount of knowledge I’ve gained about weather in the last 10 years. I watch about 4 weather apps at any given time on my phone.
What time sunset is at your venue and on your wedding day specifically, and how to work around it to capture those coveted “golden hour” photos.
Which direction you should face during your ceremony to avoid the sun in your eyes, back lighting, half shade/half bright light, etc, which effect the quality of your photos.
That you cannot stay in a tent during a lightening storm. Inside a house or in a car are the safest places.
How to make a plan B that as beautiful as plan A… and then how to make a plan C.
How to create a Hurricane Plan (if you live in hurricane regions).
Where to buy umbrellas quickly if needed… if we don’t already have about 50-100 of them in our own inventory.
How wind effects your wedding. Everyone tends to focus on rain, but wind can be just as challenging!
How the tide can effect your coastal wedding and how to work around it.
How bar timing works - every state has rules about how much alcohol can be served for a certain number of consecutive hours. Fun fact: Massachusetts only allows 5 consecutive hours of beverage service for most caterers and venues.
How to make the perfect timeline that keeps the event flowing and guests comfortable.
How to get the most important parts of the day in natural light.
How to keeping cars out of site and out of your photographs.
How many people fit at a table depending on the chair type you choose.
How many people fit at a table depending on the charger plate you choose.
How to fold napkins in a plethora of ways — I practically do origami.
How much space you need between tables and chairs.
That rental return procedures to avoid penalty fees and breakage. Linens have to be shaken out, glasses back in racks, etc.
How many extra of everything you need. Fun fact: at least 1 chair breaks or malfunctions at every wedding.
What size linens are needed for each table type.
How to tuck a linen so they look clean and beautiful in photos.
How to spot something missing on a rental order.
Where to find the perfect not too baby pink and not to beige blush table linen from.
Regular banquet tables are not wide enough to seat guests at a wedding. Double wide tables are necessary.
Where to park and how to park guests’ vehicles.
What size bathrooms can handle a guest count.
Where to get building permits.
How to get a permit from a fire department.
What day you should landscape before your wedding.
Noise permits. If they are needed, where to get them and how to get them.
That tents cannot come down until everything has been removed inside. The tent should be the last thing to come down after a wedding.
That restroom trailers must go into place after everything else has been installed.
That you always must get tent sides. Period. Never take them off a tent order. The reasons why are too many to list.
How many exits you need in a tent.
How many fire extinguishers you need in a tent.
How much power everyone needs to operate without blowing a fuse.
That an aerated lawn is the best type of lawn for a ceremony, cocktail hour or dinner — ladies’ heels sink in less.
Where to cut costs in your design where nobody will notice.
Where to avoid skimping to ensure a seamless wedding.
How big your dance floor should be for your guest count.
That floor plans need chair counts at each table.
Where the hidden fees are.
That contracts and invoices require a bit of back and forth before they are ready to sign.
That all vendors on site during the wedding need hot meals.
That all vendors must eat at the same time as guests to avoid being late to important formalities or parts of the celebration.
Which vendors are customary to provide gratuity to.
How to pair you up with the perfect vendors for your day.
How to steam and iron linens like no other person you have ever known.
How to clean stains out of your dress — for example, Shout and Tide pens do not work on stains on silk. You will need white chalk for that in order not to ruin the dress.
How to tie a bow tie.
How to tie a tie.
How to pin a boutonnière.
That wedding dresses should be hung outside of the bag in a safe dedicated closet.
That you should not not spray tan the day before your wedding.
That you should not spray tan before massages or pedicure appointments for a wedding.
That false lashes are a must for wedding photos since the flash of a camera and bright light make lashes disappear.
How to make a hair and makeup schedule.
That hair and makeup artists book incredibly fast and you should book them a year or more out from the wedding day.
How to approach the post office when handling your save the dates and invitations. Trust me, they don’t love your invitations as much as we do ;)
Assembling invitations takes a couple days to do properly, not hours.
That when in doubt, always add more postage than you believe is necessary for your wedding invitations.
How to format a menu card.
How to format guest addresses.
That adding faux invitations for photographs is a insider tip so we do not give away guest addresses.
That at least 10-15% of extra envelopes and escort cards are needed for calligraphers.
How to style your stationery and wedding details for photos.
That floral is temperamental and not all blooms are available year round. Approved substitutes are always necessary.
Which flower types will last out of water for a length of time for your bouquets and boutonnières.
Moving and repurposing a floral arch is not a one person job and requires more than 2 people to move.
That when a sweet pup or pet are in a wedding we make sure to check with our floral designers to ensure no flowers used are toxic to pets.
Making sure to have 1000 lighters on hand for candles.
What the fire code is — how many people can you have in a space what type of candles you can have.
That candles cannot be left in a garage, car or warm space in the sun as they will melt and become misshapen. They have to be in a cool dry space.
Waiting for last words of the ceremony to cue the musicians for the recessional music.
How many band members you need at your reception and how it will sound in the space.
That ice cream at a wedding is an amazing idea if you have access to a huge freezer. If you don’t, just don’t do it.
How to cut a wedding cake.
The right amount of bars for a guest count.
How many bottles of wine needed for wine service at tables.
What catering equipment needs to be rented.
That food can not be out in direct sunlight for health reasons. Market umbrellas are a must if there is no shade or trees.
That the top tier of your cake does not usually taste good after freezing for a year. Instead, we can ask your baker to make you another top tier cake for your anniversary.
That cakes cannot be put out too early or they will get soft and there becomes the risk of layers sinking.
That transportation on a shuttle or trolley takes longer than a normal car.
That buses and shuttles cannot go under stone bridges and many overpasses, and usually have to take the “long way” to transfer guests from point A to point B.
When there is a lot of wood, metal and glass in a space, add linens to absorb sound so it’s not too loud during the reception.
That it is imperative to open every box and inspect decor and contents. Things break often in transit and it’s best not to assume they are all in tact and not open until the wedding day.
That candle wax on linen is a big no no and can cost extra if linens are returned with candle wax on them.
That hurricane glass over candles doesn’t prevent them from blowing out. In a windy location, LEDs are often necessary.
That most photo frames come with stickers on them. Be prepared.
How to perfectly arrange escort cards in rows of equal size and quantities.
That welcome bags and boxes delivered to rooms at hotels usually require delivery charge per bag or box.
How much ribbon to order for cascading ribbons on a bouquet.
The order of a ceremony.
What type of sparklers to get for a successful sparkler send off.
How to light sparklers quickly for a successful sparkler exit. Despite what you might think they are actually very difficult to light!
What to put in an amenity basket.
That guest books require special pens that don’t smear.
That card boxes should have locks on them, and venues cannot handle them for you. A reputable member of the family or the couple themselves must handle gifts and cards at the end of the night.
That DIY projects always take at least double or triple the time you assume.
And there you have it! For couples on the fence about hiring a planner, I hope this list sheds a light on a wedding planner’s value and that their knowledge goes much further beyond surface level knowledge of a wedding! Deciding to book a wedding planner can be the most liberating feeling when it comes to preparing for such a huge milestone celebration. And if you happen to already be working with a wedding planner, this post is a reminder that we have got you covered.
Until next time,